Moths of North Dakota

Noctuidae: Noctuinae: Noctuini

Xestia c-nigrum (Linnaeus 1758)

Common name: Black-letter dart/ Spotted cutworm..

Hodges #: 10942.

Identification: Rfw 15.9 mm (&), fw dull brown to deep blue-gray, orbicular a 'V-shaped' spot. In any given locality, sex for sex, this species is a few mm. smaller than X. dolosa-- see key.  Ptagiae usually bi-colored, contrasting with tegulae.. In dissected material, juxta shape is distinctive: broadened lower portion is < 1/2 the total height of juxta.     

Similar species: 10674, 10942.1, 10950, 11047.

Distribution: .Transcontinental, from Alaska to Newfoundland, southward through temperate U.S., ranging further to the south in the Rockies and Appalachians.  Also occurs in the Palearctic.

Hosts: Records for this species and X. dolosa  are confused in the literature.  Between them, at least 60 species of herbs, vegetables, and woody plants have been reported from North America.  Franclemont (1980) notes that X. c-nigrum (as X. adela)  is a species of meadows and disturbed habitats; Lafontaine (1998) would associate most host records with X. c-nigrum. 

Note:  Franclemont (1980) found genitallic differences between Old World and New World populations and proposed the name X. adela for New World material.  Lafontaine (1998) found intermediate populations from western Canada and Alaska.  North Dakota material would be
X. c. adela

Both specimens: ND  Pembina Co.,
Pembina Gorge, 11 mi W.  Walhalla.
 UV/ Hg lt.  14- VIII- 2001.  G. Fauske.


Head and thorax of X. c-nigrum with
base of ptagiae contrasting with tegulae.



Forewings of X. dolosa (left) and X. c-nigrum (right) showing 'U' and 'V' shaped orbicular spots, respectively.






Last updated: 02/06/07

Dr. Gerald M. Fauske
collection manager, NDSIRC
research specialist, NDSU
216 Hultz Hall
Fargo, ND 58105

Published by the Department of Entomology 

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